Diversity Strategic Plan: 2016 - 2021

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

In keeping with the College’s mission to weave the values of integrity, community engagement, and global citizenship into the fabric of its academic programs and campus life, it is imperative that SUNYOld Westbury remains inclusive and accepting of diverse points of view, lifestyles and personal choices that make all members of our community uniquely important individuals.

MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

It is with great pride that I share the good news that SUNY Old Westbury is launching a critically important initiative with the advent of our inaugural Diversity Strategic Plan. 

Our 2016-2021 Diversity Strategic Plan identifies goals and priorities that will play a crucial role in shaping not only the future of our College, but the futures of our students and generations of students to follow.  The elements of this plan will help the College achieve its educational and social objectives, and strengthen our already recognized place as one of America’s most diversified institutions of higher learning.

The 2016-2021 Diversity Strategic Plan guides us toward becoming an improved College by weaving diversity and inclusion throughout every facet of the institution.  Because we are all responsible for ensuring our students receive the best educational experience possible, each of us must be committed to achieving the four goals detailed in this plan. 

As a leader in diversity, SUNY Old Westbury has a solid foundation on which to build.  We do, however, need to remain vigilant and relentless in our ongoing efforts to serve as a beacon of hope in our ever evolving society and global community.  The diversity goals presented in this plan reflect what we must continue to strive toward in unity if we are to achieve even greater inclusion of diversity in all aspects of life at SUNY Old Westbury and beyond.

It is my hope and expectation that as you read this Diversity Strategic Plan, you will make note of the elements that are central to your role and your interests, and that you will be an active participant in its implementation.   It is with the utmost confidence that I say loudly and boldly that SUNY Old Westbury’s faculty, staff, students and alumni have the talent, the drive and the will to make this endeavor a successful one. 

I thank Dr. Wayne Edwards, Vice President for Student Affairs, for enthusiastically embracing the challenge of serving as the College’s first Chief Diversity Officer, and I am eternally grateful to the many faculty, students and staff who, by freely giving their time and energy to serve on our newly formed Diversity & Inclusion Council, have reviewed and offered input into this important document.

I look forward to sharing in this crucial work with each and every member of the SUNY Old Westbury community.

Calvin O. Butts, III
President, SUNY Old Westbury
November 1, 2016
 

SECTION 1:  MISSION, VISION AND DEFINITION

Diversity Mission Statement

SUNY Old Westbury promotes access and success for the diverse population it serves.  The College strives to provide learning opportunities and resources related to personal growth and success for all in its community.  We are committed to diversity in our policies, programs and relationships, and in our efforts to build, maintain and promote a culture that embraces diversity, equity & inclusion.  In keeping with the College’s mission to weave the values of integrity, community engagement, and global citizenship into the fabric of its academic programs and campus life, it is imperative that SUNY Old Westbury remains inclusive and accepting of diverse points of view, lifestyles and personal choices that make all members of our community uniquely important individuals. 

Diversity Vision Statement

To ensure our dedication to academic excellence and well-rounded student development is intrinsically connected to our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Definition of Diversity

As defined by the SUNY Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy, diversity “can be broadly defined to include all aspects of human difference, including but not limited to, age, disability, race, ethnicity, gender, gender expression and identity, language heritage, learning style, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, socio-economic status, status as a veteran, and world-view.”   To that end, the SUNY Old Westbury’s Diversity Strategic Plan is designed (1) ensure consistent services and support for all constituents of our campus community, (2) ensure that our student, faculty and staff adequately reflect New York State and Long Island demographics, and (3) ensure that our campus remains a welcoming and inclusive environment for all. 

SECTION 2:  EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

On July 19, 2016, Newsday, Long Island’s newspaper of record, asked in a poignant editorial, “Who in the region will step forward to convene the conversation this community must have about policing, trust in the criminal justice system, and the racial segregation of our schools and housing?”  Dr. Butts, President of SUNY Old Westbury, swiftly and boldly accepted the challenge.  “I am writing,” he responded to the paper, “to let you know that the State University of New York at Old Westbury intends to lead discussions on this vital national and regional issue as we move forward into our new school year.” 

That Dr. Butts would volunteer SUNY Old Westbury to sit at the forefront of this much needed and highly sensitive discourse should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the College’s longstanding commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice.   

One of the youngest of the sixty-four campuses of the State University of New York (SUNY), Old Westbury prides itself on the diversity and accomplishments of its faculty, staff, and student body, as well as its longstanding commitment to academic innovation, access, and social justice.   From its experimental beginnings in 1968, the College has matured into a regional institution of higher education that works to prepare its graduates to serve the world through their character and leadership.  

The SUNY Old Westbury was chartered in 1965 by then SUNY Chancellor, Samuel B. Gould, who sought to add to the state system, a college that was innovative in curricula and academic policy. Its first president, Harris Wofford, envisioned the creation of a small experimental institution, centered on a common core of courses and individualized student projects that would draw a diverse but talented group of students and faculty together. 

President Wofford’s background in politics and in organizing the Peace Corps were the underpinning of a pedagogical orientation that led him to believe that a participatory framework, broad exposure to world classics, common seminars, a multi-cultural focus, and  dedication to community service constituted the ideal educational background for an engaged citizenry. 

Following President Wofford’s departure in 1969 to assume the presidency at Bryn Mawr College, SUNY officials appointed a special commission to examine the College’s progress.  The commission’s report convinced the SUNY Board of Trustees, among other recommendations, to cease to admit new students and reorganize the College.

In May 1970, John D. Maguire, an innovative administrator and civil rights activist was named president.  Another planning year ended, and the College reopened in Fall 1971 with a student enrollment of 571.  Its revised mandate called for Old Westbury to educate a diverse, multicultural student population.  Welcoming non-traditional students of all ages, ethnic and racial groups, as well as from various walks of life, the College boasted one of the most diverse student bodies in the nation. 

After John Maguire left the College in 1981 to become the Chancellor of the Claremont system in California, Clyde Wingfield, who had previously headed New York City University’s business-oriented Baruch College, became the next president.  When Clyde Wingfield left Old Westbury to take up the presidency at Northern Illinois, the College reconfirmed its commitment to the construction of a multi-cultural community and his successors, Acting President Ulrich Haynes and President L. Eudora Pettigrew, embraced the distinctive aspects of the College’s curriculum.  

This tradition of excellence and service accelerated under the leadership of Calvin O. Butts, III, who began as College President in September 1999 upon appointment by the SUNY Board of Trustees.  Recognized around the nation and world for his work as a community activist, educator, and minister, President Butts served at the time of his appointment and continues to serve as Pastor of the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York City. 

Under President Butts’s dynamic leadership, the SUNY Old Westbury has made remarkable progress in rethinking, renewing, and rejuvenating itself.  Proof enough that his plans have admirably moved the College forward are the many distinctions earned under his watch, including:

  • U.S. President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)
  • U.S.News & World Report rankings in the following categories:
    • Campus Diversity for 16 consecutive years (2000-2015)
    • Graduating Students with Lowest Debt  (2008, 2009) 
    • 10 Colleges that Lead to Graduate School (2011)
  • G.I. Jobs magazine: “Military Friendly School” (2011, 2012, 2014, 2015)
  • Long Island Association: “Long Island Education MVP” (2006)

From February 2015 through May 2016, SUNY Old Westbury celebrated its 50th anniversary.  The College has always served as a vibrant learning community, where its students are challenged by the dynamic academic and social environment created for them.  As SUNY Old Westbury moves forward into its next 50 years, its goal remains what it has always been:  To instill in students the ability to think critically, act ethically, and succeed in what is an ever-changing, more competitive, diverse, equitable and inclusionary global society.

SECTION 3:  BASELINE DATA HIGHLIGHTS

Student Profile: A diverse student population has always been a unique trait of SUNY Old Westbury has always been its diversity.  As the College celebrated its 50th anniversary, diversity remains a trademark that sets it apart from other campuses within the State University of New York system.  With a history rooted in the premise of an alternative campus with the goal being an inclusive student body comprised of one-third White, one-third Black and one-third Hispanic, SUNY Old Westbury has maintained its social justice mission throughout its fifty year history.  An institution that traditionally has embraced students of diverse racial, ethnic, cultural, sexual orientation, religious and economic backgrounds, SUNY Old Westbury continues to boast having the most diverse student population in the SUNY system.[1]

A review of the College’s five year demographic trends of all undergraduate students suggests its standing as a campus unique in its broad diversity will remain for some time.  A comparison of students by race from Fall 2012 and Fall 2016 indicates a slight downward fluctuation among Black (29.7% in 2012; 27.5% in 2016) and White students (34.5%; 31.3%), and a significant and consistent increase in Asian (8.7%; 11.4%) and Hispanic students (20.8%; 24.1%).[2]

Figure 1:  All Undergraduate Students by Race, Fall 2012 & Fall 2016

 

All Undergraduate Students by Race, Fall 2012 & Fall 2016

As evidenced in Figure 1 (above) SUNY Old Westbury is a majority minority campus, with more underrepresented minorities (U.S. citizens, both naturalized or permanent residents that have African, Hispanic or Native American heritage) than any of the sixty-four campuses in the SUNY system.  While its Native American student population is minimal (decreased from 0.7% in 2012 to 0.3% in 2016), Blacks and Hispanics accounted for 51.6% of its total student population in Fall 2016, a percentage that has been consistent over the past five years (50.5% in Fall 2012).

Figure 2: All Undergraduate Commuter Students by Race, Fall 2012 & Fall 2016

 

All Undergraduate Commuter Students by Race, Fall 2012 & Fall 2016

Furthering Old Westbury’s unique standing in SUNY, and quite possibly the nation, is the demographic disparity between its undergraduate commuter and residential populations.  In Fall 2016 commuters made up 81.6% of all undergraduate students.  Two Long Island counties, Nassau (where the College is located) and Suffolk, are home to 80% of commuters: 57.8% of them in Nassau where the average annual household income is $93,696 and 27% from Suffolk where household incomes average $85,196.[3]  Conversely, 56.2% of the College’s residential students are from New York City, where the median household income is $50,711.[4]  The race and income disparities between our commuter and residential students provide Old Westbury with the rare opportunity to serve two distinctly different cultural and socioeconomic populations on the same campus.  This is yet another example of the College serving its mission of social justice. 

Figure 3: All Undergraduate Residential Students by Race, Fall 2012 & Fall 2016

 

All Undergraduate Residential Students by Race, Fall 2012 & Fall 2016

It should also be noted that amongst the undergraduate student population, the percentage of female students is significantly and consistently higher than males:  58.7 to 41.3% in Fall 2012, and 59.2 to 40.8% in Fall 2016.  While the overall female to male ratio mirrors that of our commuter population, there is a significantly larger discrepancy in the residential ranks where, in Fall 2012, females represented 64.8 to 35.2% males.  After a small downward fluctuation in Fall 2013, the percentage of female residential students has slowly but steadily increased to 66.9% in Fall 2016.

Faculty:  Old Westbury’s ranking as the most diverse campus in the SUNY system is not limited to its student population.  As published in SUNY’s 2017 report on faculty composition “Old Westbury has the most ethnically diverse tenure-track faculty in the SUNY system.”[5]  This added element further signifies the College’s outstanding dedication to its social justice mission and its unique place among SUNY campuses.

Figure 4:  Full-Time Faculty by Race/Ethnicity and Gender, Fall 2016 (as of November 1, 2016).[6]

 

Full-Time Faculty by Race/Ethnicity and Gender, Fall 2016 (as of November 1, 2016

The importance of faculty diversity on educational outcomes of all students, and students of color in particular, cannot be overstated.  That underrepresented students would benefit from faculty and administrative diversity is not surprising given documented research which suggests that “faculty of color do provide an important contribution to undergraduate education in two ways.  First, faculty of color employ a broader range of pedagogical techniques and interact more frequently with students than their White counterparts.  Second, greater structural diversity among faculty leads to an increased use of effective educational practices.”[7]

When speaking about mental health thriving of students of color, Alfiee Breland-Noble, Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University Medical Center, stated, “When asked, many people of color will readily acknowledge that they prefer to access care in more racially diverse settings with individuals who they believe can more easily empathize with the sociocultural aspects of their concerns.”[8]  This point of view transcends mental health thriving of students of color: it is a reality prevalent in the classroom, socialization and feelings of belonging on college campuses.

Figure 5:  Full-Time Faculty Percentages by Race/Ethnicity and Gender, Fall 2016 (as of November 1, 2016).

 

Full-Time Faculty Percentages by Race/Ethnicity and Gender, Fall 2016

Advantageous to underrepresented students at SUNY Old Westbury is the fact that, though the percentages of faculty of color are not commensurate with those of students of color, faculty diversity at the College is, as noted in the aforementioned SUNY report, notably higher than other campuses.

SECTION 4:  GOALS, OBJECTIVES & STRATEGIES

GOAL #1:  CREATE A CAMPUS ENVIRONMENT THAT FULLY WELCOMES AND SUPPORTS SOCIAL DIVERSITY.

OBJECTIVE

STRATEGIES

TIMELINE

ASSESSMENT PLAN

Establish a college-wide Diversity & Inclusion Council to maintain focus on college-wide diversity & inclusion initiatives

 

Define mission and expectations of Diversity & Inclusion Council.

Establish criteria for selecting members

Appoint members to Diversity and Inclusion Council

Fall 2016

Monitor level of representation and participation of faculty, staff, students and alumni on the Diversity & Inclusion Council.

GOAL #2:  CREATE AND MAINTAIN A CLIMATE OF RESPECT AND INCLUSION.

OBJECTIVE

STRATEGIES

TIMELINE

ASSESSMENT PLAN

Train faculty and staff to supervise and support the College’s diverse student population and workforce as it relates to diversity & inclusion.

 

Implement a comprehensive and mandatory supervisory training program for all employees with direct reports.

Training will review SUNY Old Westbury policies, procedures and expectations relative to diversity & inclusion, as well as promote multicultural competency among faculty and staff.

Fall 2018

Monitor level of participation by faculty and staff in training opportunities.

Develop cultural diversity awareness among all SUNY Old Westbury faculty, staff and students.

Implement multicultural competency training for faculty, staff and students.

Include an overview of diversity & inclusion initiatives during new faculty and staff orientations.

Include an overview of diversity & inclusion initiatives during new student and transfer student orientations.

Fall 2018

Monitor level of participation by faculty and staff in training opportunities.

Ongoing nurturing of multicultural competency and respect among SUNY Old Westbury students, faculty and staff.

 

Provide opportunities for small group activities and/or discussions by pairing interest groups, departments, mixed groups, etc. 

Encourage student, faculty and staff participation in multicultural events. 

Fall 2019

Monitor level of faculty, staff and student participation.

Provide faculty, staff and students with information regarding the College’s diversity, equity & inclusion policies and initiatives.

Provide easy, online access to policies (affirmative action, anti-harassment, hiring practices, etc.), data and other resources relevant to the College’s diversity and inclusion initiatives, policies and requirements.

Fall 2017

 

Successful implementation of online access to policies.

Increase accountability by including diversity & inclusion objectives on all performance programs and evaluations.

Modify performance programs and evaluation to include evidence of cultural competence.

Track number of faculty and staff successfully meeting or exceeding diversity & inclusion objective.

Develop action plans for employees not fulfilling diversity & inclusion objective.

Fall 2020

 

Monitor ability to track faculty and staff meeting/exceeding diversity & inclusion objectives.

 

GOAL #3:  ENSURE THAT FACULTY AND STAFF HIRING AND RETENTION PROCESSES SUPPORT DIVERSITY & INCLUSION.

OBJECTIVE

STRATEGIES

TIMELINE

ASSESSMENT PLAN

Require mandatory training for search committee chairs and members.

Provide training for faculty and staff on knowledge and skills needed to serve on search committees.

Provide training to prepare search committee chairs to successfully lead search committees.

Maintain master list of faculty and staff trained for search committees.

Fall 2018

Successful implementation of training 

Increase the recruitment, hiring and retention of underrepresented groups.

Identify and use recruiting/advertising sources not currently being accessed by SUNY Old Westbury that target diverse populations.

Fall 2017

Monitor hiring and retention of faculty and staff, with focused attention on underrepresented groups.

Evaluate and improve, as needed, exit interview procedures to gain insight into why faculty and staff leave SUNY Old Westbury.

To be determined with input from Human Resources and Assistant Vice President for Assessment & Institutional Research (AVPAIR) when hired.

TBD with input from HR and AVPAIR when hired.

TBD with input from HR and AVPAIR when hired.

GOAL # 4: DEVELOP A DIVERSITY & INCLUSION GLOBAL EDUCATION PLAN SPECIFICALLY FOR STUDENTS.

OBJECTIVE

STRATEGIES

TIMELINE

ASSESSMENT PLAN

Coordinate and support current student-focused diversity initiatives and student groups.

Create a list of diversity related clubs and organizations and faculty/staff advisors.

Create a budget allocation for diversity initiatives.

Fall 2020

Monitor participation of students and advisors. 

Monitor percentage increase in allocated resources.

Create an annual student cultural diversity program plan.

 

Form a planning committee to develop annual academic year calendar of programs, and to review and assess existing Gen Ed outcomes to diversity and global education.

Fall 2021

Monitor implementation of programs.

Monitor student participation in programs.

SECTION 5:  IMPLEMENTATION AND EVALUATION

The following procedures will be used in the implementation and evaluation of the effectiveness and progress of SUNY Old Westbury’s Diversity Strategic Plan:

Role of Diversity & Inclusion Council 

  • The Diversity & Inclusion Council will convene monthly throughout the academic calendar year.  The purpose of these meetings will be to share any additional material gathered, to review existing strategies, to adjust timelines put forth in the Diversity Strategic Plan, and to ensure existing and/or revise strategies include measurable actions that can be assessed/modified as needed each year.

  • The Diversity & Inclusion Council will prepare an annual report for the College President and for dissemination to the College community.  The purpose of the report will be to share information regarding assessment of progress in achieving goals set forth in the Diversity Strategic Plan and to propose any revisions/modifications for the upcoming academic year the Council deems necessary.

Dissemination

  • The Diversity & Inclusion Council’s annual report will be submitted to the President of the College for review and approval.
  • Once approved by the College President, the annual report will be disseminated to the College Council via the College website and announcement (with link to report) in online campus publications “The Current” and “Student Connections,” as well as other venues when identified.
  • The College will submit the Diversity & Inclusion Council’s annual report to SUNY’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Collaboration

  • SUNY Old Westbury was founded on the principles of bringing diverse populations together in an environment committed to equity and inclusion for all.  Those principles remain solidly in place 50 years later.  As such, the College recognizes the need to engage all campus constituencies in creating, implementing and sustaining the goals and values set forth in the Diversity Strategic Plan.    

SECTION 6:  DIVERSITY OUTREACH AND PIPELINE PROGRAMS

SUNY Old Westbury makes concerted efforts to engage with local and regional industries, businesses, public schools, and civic organizations to create and/or partner on programs that encourage students of color to take advantage of opportunities that lead to and/or enhance a well-rounded college experience.  Outreach programs currently in place include:

  • My Brother’s Keeper: SUNY Old Westbury and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory are in partnership to advance the mission of President Barack Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative.  This collaboration provides an opportunity for participating students, mostly from economically challenged and diverse Long Island and New York City high schools, to meet faculty and student researchers, tour key campus facilities, and learn about important programs available to support their future academic interests.  Students are also paired with college and career mentors to expose them to the skills and tools needed to advance to postsecondary education or training, and encourage them to reach their full potential. Additionally, the goal of Brookhaven Lab and SUNY Old Westbury mentors is to raise awareness and interest in studies in the STEM fields.
  • Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP): The Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) is funded by the New York State Education Department with a goal to encourage more under-represented minorities and economically eligible students  to enter in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields and the licensed professions. We  offers academic enrichment programs such as tutoring in biology; chemistry & physics courses; academic advisement & book stipends;  seminars; on-campus research;  peer mentoring;   internships at the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), hospitals and other corporations;  special winter mini-courses and scientific Computing courses at BNL; national, state-wide and local conference participation;  graduate school tours, residential summer programs for incoming freshman students and discounted graduate and professional test preparation with the Kaplan Education Centers. Our CSTEP program, which was funded thirty years ago serves over three hundred students annually.

  • Early College High School Program: SUNY Old Westbury, in collaboration with other School Districts both on Long Island and the NYC area provides courses for college credits to students in a variety of disciplines.  The Early College High School Program (ECHS) is geared to promote a college-going culture to all high school students.  The program will expose students to college work early on and prepare them for higher learning.  This is an excellent opportunity for students to acquire credits while still attending high school and enter college with an advanced standing at a reduced tuition to their family.  All courses are dual-credits; credits earned towards HS diploma and College Credits (SUNY Old Westbury Transcript).

  • Harlem RBI: A 501 ( c) 3 youth development organization located in East Harlem, New York, continues its successful partnership with SUNY Old Westbury through the College Community Connections ( CCC) Program via joint funding from the Teagle Foundation, Harlem RBI’s fundraising infrastructure, and SUNY Old Westbury’s institutional resources.  Harlem RBI and SUNY Old Westbury’s partnership aims to provide youths with an introduction to liberal arts education and a sample of a true college experience; increase critical thinking skills; prepare students for elements of the college application, particularly the personal statement; and increase students’ ability to access resources on a college campus. For rising seniors, the program consists of a three college preparation components: Pre-Residency, in which youth participate in intensive full-day workshops led by SUNY Old Westbury faculty, gain exposure to college level writing and develop concepts for their college preparation essays;  Residency, in which students spend six days on SUNY Old Westbury’s campus participating in academic and enrichments activities, including an intensive first-year style seminar, a writing workshop and various resource exploration activities; and a Post Residency, during  which students return to SUNY Old Westbury campus to attend classes with SUNY Old Westbury students enrolled in courses such as algebra, chemistry, biology, English and history.  The students also attend panel discussions and a follow workshop with instructors from the Residency program.
  • Harlem Renaissance Education Pipeline (Cradle to Career): SUNY Old Westbury has joined efforts with Abyssinian Development Corporation, a community development agency in Central Harlem, to create the Harlem Renaissance Education Pipeline (HREP), a “cradle to career” initiative.   HREP was created to bring together a cross sector of major stakeholders that are committed to work collectively to develop and implement a shared common vision that is data driven and evidence based that will significantly impact student performance and outcomes. The target area that was chosen for this project is District 5, located in Central Harlem.  The District serves 13,000 students from Kindergarten through 12th grade and includes some of New York’s lowest performing schools.  HREP is part of New York State’s Cradle to Career Alliance and is an official member of the Strive Network in the “exploring stage” and has a staff that consists of a Project Manager and Consultant.  Preparation is being made to conduct a “Planning Institute”, which will bring together a small core of cross sector stakeholders to vet HREP’s mission and vision statement, review preliminary data and sign a commitment agreement.  The projected date to complete the civic infrastructure assessment to meet the criteria to move to the “emerging stage” in the Strive Network is December 2015. Then HREP will become the first Cradle to Career Collective Impact in Harlem, servicing more than 13,000 students in District 5.
  • Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Program: The LSAMP program is a part of a SUNY consortium, is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) over twenty-five years ago. At SUNY-Old Westbury, it is administered by the same staff as the CSTEP program. Similar to CSTEP the objective of this program is to encourage under-represented minorities into the STEM fields. At SUNY-Old Westbury, the LSAMP program serves over thirty students annually, and the LSAMP students participate in the same activities as CSTEP.
  • Prosper Program: Prosper is designed for both classified and non-classified students who are currently enrolled in either their sophomore, junior or senior year at local Long Island high schools.  The primary objectives are: to improve attendance and self-esteem and encourage students to gain an understanding of the relevancy of education as it relates to the world of work.  In collaboration with the Old Westbury and other local campuses, the Prosper Program incorporates career assessments, guidance, counseling and tutoring, related to students’ short and long-range vocational interests.  Students tour college campuses in preparation for selection of career choices and participate in peer mentoring/shadowing experiences.  Students gain career knowledge and exposure to various jobs through weekly tours of local business and industries.
  • Research Aligned Mentorship (RAM) Program: The Research Aligned Mentorship (RAM) Program is a prestigious program funded by the United States Department of Education’s First in the World Grant. This grant-funded program is a collaborative among five universities: Farmingdale State College, Bowie State University, Central Connecticut State University, Kean University, and SUNY Old Westbury. RAM Program provides extra benefits and rewards that will enhance learning and college experience, including workshops, mentoring, research, and program events.  Three cohorts will be included in the RAM Program, which began with a Fall 2016 cohort and concludes with a Fall 2018 cohort.  One hundred new SUNY Old Westbury students are selected by lottery for membership for each cohort, with eligibility based on membership in one or more of the following groups: underrepresented minority, non-traditional age, first-generation college student, or eligible for PELL grant funding. 
  • Science & Technology Entry Program: SUNY Old Westbury’s Science & Technology Entry Program (STEP) is funded by the New York State Education Department (NYSED).  Our goal is to increase the number of historically underrepresented and economically disadvantaged students prepared to enter college, and improve their participation rate in mathematics, science, technology, health related fields and the licensed professions.  Our program is designed to encourage, support and improve academic skills, character skills, and college readiness for eligible STEP students in grades 7-12.
  • Smart Scholars Program with Roosevelt High School: The Smart Scholars Early College High School (ECHS) Program at SUNY Old Westbury is a partnership with Long Island’s Roosevelt Union Free School District (UFSD).  The focus of the program is a college readiness initiative which supports the education pipeline to ensure that more students enroll and graduate from college. This program exposes students to college work early on and, at no cost to the family, provides an opportunity for students to acquire college credits and enter college with advanced standing.  The goal and the mission of the SUNY Old Westbury/Roosevelt Smart Scholars Early College High School Program is to bring the benefits of higher education to students who far too often attend no college at all and/or are ill-prepared for success in higher learning when they do take college courses. The ECHS program adopts learning goals aligned with the Association of American Colleges and Universities.  
  • Study Abroad: In keeping with the College’s social justice mission and commitment to diversity initiatives, SUNY Old Westbury’s Study Abroad program focuses on increasing multicultural sensitivity.  Participation in the program exposes students to broader cultural perspectives that enable them to become more aware and accepting of diverse ways of engaging with the world around them.  The College’s Office of International Enrollment Services (OIES), which oversees the application process, has established criteria for participation and assists students with selecting an appropriate study abroad program.   Study Abroad programs allow students to maintain full matriculation for the duration of the semester or year of participation.  Old Westbury students pay the tuition, college fees, program fee, and room and board to SUNY Old Westbury. The additional cost to the student often includes meals, round trip airfare, international health insurance, local travel and non-academic excursions.  Recent Study Abroad opportunities include studies in Austria, China, Cuba, France, Morocco, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan and Turkey.

CONCLUSION

SUNY Old Westbury’s Diversity Strategic Plan is intended to guide the College in the implementation of effective strategies to enhance the overall in-class and out-of-class student  experiences while attending Old Westbury.  Additionally, the Diversity Strategic Plan will help facilitate programming designed to further impact the preparedness of our students to confidently engage with the increasingly diverse populations not only of Long Island and New York State, but of the nation and the world as well.

The Chief Diversity Officer will collaboratively interact with the Cabinet, Faculty Senate, staff, student organizations, and administrative offices across campus, i.e., Academic Affairs, University Police, Human Resources and, in keeping with SUNY’s diversity initiative, Chief Diversity Officers throughout the SUNY system. 

SUNY Old Westbury remains steadfast in its vow to ensure our dedication to academic excellence and well-rounded student development is intrinsically connected to our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.  The College remains equally resolute in its social justice mission to instill in students the ability to think critically, act ethically, and succeed in what is an ever-changing, more competitive, diverse, equitable and inclusionary global society.

DIVERSITY & INCLUSION COUNCIL

SUNY Old Westbury’s inaugural Diversity & Inclusion Council first convened in the Fall 2016 semester.  Effective Fall 2017, the Council will meet monthly to discuss/review implementation of its strategic goals, recommend strategic options/revisions, adjust strategic timelines, review and assess progress on achieving desired outcomes, and personify the College’s commitment to diversity on campus, in local and regional communities, and wherever our travels take us.

Inaugural Diversity & Inclusion Council Members -- Academic Year 2016-2017

  • Chair: Wayne Edwards, Ph.D., Vice President for Student Affairs/Chief Diversity Officer
  • Rominegia Armand, Student
  • Noreen Arshad, Student
  • Ashok Basawapatna, Assistant Professor/Mathematics, Computer & Information Science
  • Betty Berbari, Coordinator, Math Redesign
  • Daejianna A. Clairborne, Student
  • Marty Cooper, Assistant Professor/Psychology
  • Lauren Foxworth, Associate Professor/School of Education
  • Adele Gutierrez, RN, Student Health Center
  • Sahal Khan, Student
  • Yanelis V. Martinez, Student
  • Kelsey McGonigle, Residence Hall Director
  • B. Runi Mukherji, Professor/Psychology
  • Aneka Phillip-Francois, Student
  • Mary Rom, Student
  • Stephanie Schneider, Assistant Professor/Childhood Education and Literacy
  • James Shevlin, CALL Transportation Coordinator/First Year Experience
  • Joshua R. Stickell, Student
  • Colleen Woods, Executive Secretarial Assistant/Office of the President

Contributors

  • John Butler, Community Relations Assistant/Office of Public & Media Relations
  • Diane Carbocci, Secretary/Division of Student Affairs
  • Barbara Harrison, Assistant to the Vice President/Division of Student Affairs
  • Jasmine Mitchell, Assistant Professor/American Studies

References


[1] “Data Brief: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion,” SUNY Board of Trustees’ Academic Affairs Committee, June 22, 2016.

[2] Student demographic data taken from “Student Profiles Fall 2016 & Enrollment Trends Fall 2011 to Fall 2016,” Office of Institutional Research & Assessment [SUNY Old Westbury], November 2016.

[5] “Report on the Gender and Ethnic Composition of State University of New York Faculty 1995-2015,” State University Of New York University Faculty Senate Operations Committee, Prepared by Dr. Thomas Sinclair, Ph.D., Department of Public Administration, SUNY Binghamton and Dr. Aylone Katzin, Graduate Assistant, Department of Public Administration, SUNY Binghamton, April 2017.

[6] SUNY Old Westbury’s Faculty counts are as reported by SUNY System to IPEDS/NCES.

[7] “The Contribution of Faculty of Color to Undergraduate Education,” Paul D. Umbach, Research in Higher Education, May 2006, Volume 47, Issue 3.

[8] “Students Demand More Minority Advisers, Counselors,” Inside Higher Ed (https://www.insidehighered.com), March 3, 2016.